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Think of these iced gingerbread oatmeal cookies as the holiday version of regular iced oatmeal cookies. They’re every bit as chewy, soft, nostalgic, and wholesome, but brimming with gingerbread spices and topped with spiced vanilla icing. Pair with peanut butter blossoms and Christmas sugar cookies for a trio of classic Christmas cookie flavors.

stack of iced gingerbread oatmeal cookies

This recipe is part of my annual Christmas cookie countdown called Sally’s Cookie Palooza. Every year since 2013, I work on a handful of new Christmas cookie recipes and publish the 10 best ones for readers to enjoy! You can browse dozens of recipes on the Sally’s Cookie Palooza page.


Iced gingerbread oatmeal cookies are definitely part of my cookie trays this year and I’m thrilled to share the new recipe with you. After 1 bite I immediately said “this is the best cookie I’ve ever made.” And I’ve made A LOT! Maybe it was my exhaustion talking… I had just spent the day testing 3 new recipes and vacuuming spilled sprinkles… TWICE… but oats + spices + molasses + icing is certainly a recipe for something delicious.

I think you’re going to love them too.

gingerbread oatmeal cookies with icing and cinnamon on top

Tell Me About These Iced Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies

  • Flavor: These are gingerbread cookies and plain iced oatmeal cookies in 1. Generous amounts of ground ginger and cinnamon plus nutmeg, cloves, molasses, and brown sugar supply each cookie with cozy, comforting flavors. Truly– and I don’t say this often– you could skip the icing and be plenty satisfied.
  • Texture: Like the regular version, these are mega chewy oatmeal cookies with buttery soft centers and slightly crisp edges. The key to their texture is pulsing the oats in a food processor or blender to gently break them down. The result is an uneven mixture of broken oats and coarse crumbs, a texture medley giving us a compact and chewy oatmeal cookie.
  • Ease: The prepwork is simple and pulsing the oats takes a few brief seconds. Make sure you set aside about 30-45 minutes to chill the cookie dough before baking. Molasses makes the dough quite sticky and without time in the refrigerator, the cookies will over-spread. Luckily, it’s a quick chill time and your cookies will be ready soon!

Key Ingredients in Iced Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies

  1. Brown Sugar: Brown sugar is a key ingredient in many cookie recipes because not only does it sweeten the cookies, it adds flavor, softness, and a little moisture too.
  2. Spices: I found the best ratio of spices is 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. These are the same spices you use when making gingerbread whoopie pies. I like a little extra ground cloves in my gingerbread recipes, so I usually add another pinch. It’s a strong flavor, so be careful if you decide to add a little more.
  3. Molasses: Molasses adds deep, rich flavor. Use dark molasses that’s labeled unsulphured. Avoid blackstrap molasses in this cookie recipe because it will overpower everything else.
  4. Oats: As mentioned above, taking an extra few seconds to pulse the oats will completely transform the texture of your finished cookies. No matter if you use whole oats or quick oats, pulse them a few times in your food processor to obtain the correct consistency.

Here’s what the oats will look like:

pulsed oats in food processor

gingerbread spices and cookie dough

gingerbread oatmeal cookie dough balls on lined baking sheet

Success Tip: Use a Cookie Scoop

Use a cookie scoop because this is a textured and sticky dough. A cookie scoop not only prevents a mess, it helps ensure all cookies are the same size and shape. I recommend a medium cookie scoop which holds 1.5 Tablespoons of cookie dough. The cookies spread nicely, so keep each baking sheet/batch at around 8-9 cookies.


Spiced Vanilla Icing

Thick vanilla icing is the iconic finishing touch on regular iced oatmeal cookies. But since we’re crafting a generously spiced version, let’s not miss the opportunity for extra flavor on top. I love adding a pinch each of ground cinnamon and ginger to this icing. It doesn’t alter the texture at all– the icing will still set/dry nicely on the cookies– but it does elevate the flavor.

If dipped lightly, the thick icing will set on the cookies so you can easily stack, transport, or gift these flavorful beauties. Instead of dipping, feel free to drizzle the icing on top. Enjoy!

cinnamon spice icing in glass bowl

gingerbread oatmeal cookies without icing and one being dipped into icing

gingerbread oatmeal cookies with icing and cinnamon on top

Sally's Cookie Palooza

This recipe is part of my annual Christmas cookie countdown called Sally’s Cookie Palooza. Every year since 2013, I publish 10 new cookie recipes in a row. It’s the biggest, most delicious event of the year! Browse dozens of Christmas cookie recipes over on the Sally’s Cookie Palooza page including:

and here are 75+ Christmas cookies with all my best success guides & tips.

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stack of iced gingerbread oatmeal cookies

Iced Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 30 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These iced gingerbread oatmeal cookies are chewy, soft, and brimming with gingerbread flavor from molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. If dipped lightly, the icing will set so you can stack, transport, and/or gift the cookies.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups (160g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
  • 1 and 2/3 cups (210g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks; 170gunsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) unsulphured dark molasses

Icing

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) sifted confectioners’ sugar*
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1.52 Tablespoons milk
  • small pinch each: ground cinnamon and ground ginger, plus extra cinnamon for garnish if desired

Instructions

  1. Make the cookies: Pulse the oats in a food processor 10-12 times until you have a variety of texture– chopped oats with some oat flour. See photo above for a visual.
  2. Whisk the pulsed oats, flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and molasses and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Dough will be very thick and a little sticky. Cover and chill the dough for 30-45 minutes in the refrigerator (and up to 4 days). If chilling for longer than a few hours, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before scooping and baking because the dough will be quite hard.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  6. Scoop cookie dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie, and place 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
  8. Make the icing: Combine confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and 1 Tablespoon of milk in a medium bowl. Use a fork to whisk until combined. It will be impossible to fully combine because this isn’t enough liquid. Add only enough extra milk to make a very very thick icing. I only add about 1 more Tablespoon of milk. Whisk in a very small pinch each of ground cinnamon and ginger. (Taste and add more if desired.) Lightly dip the tops of the cookies into the icing or lightly drizzle icing on top. Feel free to dust/sprinkle more ground cinnamon on top of the icing for garnish. Icing will set after a few hours, so you can stack, transport, and/or gift the cookies.
  9. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 5. Baked cookies with or without icing freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Oats: Pulsing the oats in step 1 is the trick to this recipe. If you don’t have a food processor, use a blender. If you don’t have either, give the oats a rough chop on a cutting board. Even if you’re using quick oats, pulsing the oats is necessary– you just won’t have to pulse them as much as whole oats. Do not use oat flour in place of the pulsed oats.
  3. Confectioners’ Sugar: Sift confectioners’ sugar before measuring.

Keywords: gingerbread oatmeal cookies

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hi Sally

    Do you think these would ship well iced? Or will the icing melt inside the packing? I have read all your tips for shipping cookies. Alternatively do you have another similar cookies that would ship better?

      1. Thanks so much. One more question do you think I could add dark chocolate chips to these? How much would you recommend? Also wanted to let your know that I made the Gingerbread Muffins last year for Christmas morning and added dark chocolate chips. These were such a hit that they are now our new tradition. Love your recipes.

  2. Can’t wait to make these!! I noticed in your comments that you said not to use Blackstrap molasses. The only unsulphured dark molasses that our store carries also says it’s blackstrap molasses… The name of it is “Plantation blackstrap unsulphured molasses”. Should I get that, or just go with a regular molasses that is not unsulphured dark? Thanks!

    1. Hi Angie, do not use blackstrap– I would use the other regular molasses option you have.

  3. Where I live I can only find blackstrap molasses. Do you think it would work to do half blackstrap and half honey/maple syrup? The brand I have called Red Seal from Australia says that “Blackstrap Molasses can be substituted for honey or golden syrup in many recipes”. So I’m thinking it’s maybe not super strong/bitter but would still be wary to use the full amount of it.

    1. Hi Alexandra, we haven’t tried it ourselves, but you can certainly give it a go. Blackstrap molasses is very strong and bitter, so using half should help to cut that flavor a bit with the other half honey/maple syrup. The texture of the cookies may be slightly different as well. Let us know if you give it a try!

    2. I followed the recipe exactly, including chilling the dough, but mine turned out flat. Any ideas what went wrong?

  4. I love ginger! These cookies were the bomb! Perfect addition to my cookie tray for Christmas. I followed the recipe exactly and they turned out wonderfully. The cookies just scream Christmas You have to like the cinnamon, ginger,, clove, nutmeg combination though which is one of my favorites. If you make them you should let them cool completely to get the real flavor and crispness. You have to ice them!! That step is a must!! Thanks Sally for an excellent recipe! Happy Holidays!

  5. These were a huge hit with my friends and family! Lasted less than 24 hours in the house!

  6. These are SO delicious. My husband said top 3 cookies I’ve ever made, and I’ve made alot! Sally’s recipes never disappoint!

  7. LOVE these so much!! I made them last weekend when my in-laws were in town and they were gone in a day!! Everything I love about gingerbread and molasses cookies in an iced oatmeal cookie! Will definitely be making these again in the next week!! Thank you!!

  8. So, I messed up and bought blackstrap molasses without reading the comment section first. Well, hey, I REALLY love the flavor of molasses, so I decided to give it a go anyway without risking icy roads to go back to the store. I’m happy to report that they are still DELICIOUS! Definitely one of the best cookies (if not THE best) I’ve ever made! It didn’t seem to affect the texture, so they were still thick and chewy, and the taste was dark and spiced. Totally phenomenal. I can’t wait to make these for my family over Christmas! Thanks for another hit!

    1. Super helpful! Will give it a go with the blackstrap I have, since that’s all I can find.

  9. Thank you! These truly are the best cookies I’ve ever made! What a fantastic recipe.

  10. Delicious! Another baking win. I love Sally’s recipes! I just made a batch to take to church for our cookie and wassail event and of course I had to sample a couple.

  11. These are one of my favorite cookies I’ve ever made. I left off the icing (mostly because I ran out of time before guests were coming over), but they are amazing without it. Everyone loved them. Also, my husband started dunking the leftover cookies in eggnog and feels that he has made a major scientific discovery of cookie deliciousness. Thank you!

  12. Wonderful, spiced cookie that smacks of fall and the holidays. Sweet–but not too sweet–with a chewy texture that is very appealing. Definitely a repeat.

  13. Made a double batch of these and they’re delicious!! Question: I chilled the second half of dough that I didn’t get to bake within 48 hours in the same large mixing bowl but tightly sealed— upon baking five days from when the dough was made, the cookies appeared to spread — is this a sign that they are bad?

  14. WOW. These are absolutely amazing cookies – definitely a new favorite. I followed the recipe exactly and the spice is just unbelievably delicious. A perfect balance. I even shared them with my mom, who doesn’t usually like gingerbread, and she raved. Thanks for the fantastic recipe!

  15. Made them for a church fellowship (or swallowship) meeting, and they were the best-received, most-complimented baked goods there!

  16. I concur that these cookies are absolutely amazing! The combination of gingerbread and oatmeal is unexpected and delicious. I decided to take a risk and use unsulphured blackstrap molasses because I already had some at home, and I think it worked okay!

  17. The texture & taste of these cookies were perfect! After they cooled the exterior was nice and crisp and the interior was soft and chewy. So much yum! I love the gingerbread and oatmeal combo! Thank you Sally for such a great recipe!

  18. Could I turn these into cream pies and sandwich them with your oatmeal cream pie icing?

  19. These cookies – even without the frosting – are delicious! My family loved them, and I’m on round 2 for this recipe.
    Today I’ll be putting the marshmallow meringue topping (from your smores tartlet recipe) in the middle and making sandwich cookies. https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/smores-tartlets/#tasty-recipes-73563-jump-target.
    This recipe will be added to every Kookiefest for years to come!

  20. These look amazing and dying to make them. I have 2 questions – –
    1) I don’t have a food processor. Can the oats be left uncut or do you think a blender would work?

    2) So far I can’t find molasses of any kind here. Can it be skipped? Or is there a substitute you’d prefer I try?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Elizabeth, a blender should do the trick! Molasses is a key ingredient in these gingerbread oatmeal cookies. You could try adding additional spices to our iced oatmeal cookies recipe instead!

  21. I just made these today and they were incredible!!! This will definitely be a staple recipe for me now, especially during the holidays!

    I didn’t have a food processor so I used a spice/coffee grinder to pulse the oats in smaller batches (it was super quick) and it worked great. I iced some cookies by dipping and others by drizzling with a fork, and my family and I all loved both but liked the drizzled version more. Either way, they’re going so fast! I just made them today but there are only a few left. I’ll probably be making them again very soon!

    This is the first recipe I’ve tried of yours, and I want to say that I really appreciate how you also include the metric measurements. This was the first baking recipe where I didn’t have to spend a bunch of time washing/drying the measuring cups/spoons so that I could use them for another ingredient. I was able to just dump everything in on the scale. I also appreciate all the detail you wrote in your post and comments. I felt so prepared going into this (I am a relatively new baker)! Will definitely be checking out your other recipes! Thank you!!!

  22. Made these this weekend and everyone loved them! My grandmother can’t have chocolate, so I was looking for a new chocolate-free recipe, since we make the usual few all the time. She loved them, and my mother said they reminded her of some Dutch cookie she used to eat as a kid. And since they’re oatmeal, I can pass off the leftovers as “good” for breakfast for my sons 😉

  23. These were absolutely delicious, Sally! I upped the spices in the icing and it was to die for. Mine didn’t spread nearly as much and ended up looking like hockey pucks – any idea why? I refrigerated for the same amount of time and even the later batches that had been on the counter for a short while still didn’t spread as much. I also found that mine weren’t as chewy as yours looked – do you have any recommended tweaks?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi ST, how were you measuring your flour? Be sure to spoon and level (or weight measure) to ensure there is not too much flour in the dough, which can soak up the wet ingredients and prevent spreading. This article on how to improve your next batch of cookies might also be helpful — see #2, “What if cookies AREN’T spreading?” Glad you enjoyed the cookies!

  24. Hi Sally!

    These look amazing! I am planning on making the dough tonight, and then chilling the dough for three days ( due to work, I don’t have to make them yet.) I saw in another comment that you don’t recommend chilling the dough for longer than two days, but in the recipe it says that the dough can be chilled for up to four days. Is three days okay or should I just chill them for two?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Priyanka! Up to 4 days is perfectly fine – hope you love these 🙂

  25. These were some of my favorite cookies I’ve ever made! I modified the recipe a little bit because I have an excessive in vegan/gluten-free ingredients from Thanksgiving. I used coconut flour (1/4 as much) and vegan butter. I had to bake them a little longer than normal, and these came out incredible. Very happy with these 🙂

  26. I made these last weekend and want to report that my husband, who is a diehard chocolate chip cookie man, told me that these are the best cookies I have ever made. Thank you. I did add about 1/3 cup finely chopped ginger just because I had some. It is an excellent recipe. I will make another batch before Christmas.

  27. I just finished making the dough into balls and put them in the freezer. But as always with a new cookie recipe I baked one ball in my toaster oven to “test” it. They are perfect. Soft, chewy, warm from all the good spices. I added about a cup of dried fruits, including candied ginger, finely chopped, soaked in hot water for an hour. Because of this I added 1 tbsp of flour. The dough is incredibly sticky but oh goodness this is a gorgeous and delicious cookie! Going in the rotation!

  28. Hi Sally, these are amazing. Everything about them are perfect. I do have a question though. When they come out of the oven and before they’ve been stored – they are absolute perfection. Crispy edges soft center. However I have this problem with every cookie that I make that after storing they lose there crispy edges. Do you have a trick for storing these cookies in a way that they keep their perfect texture?

    1. Hi Emery, we’re so glad to hear you enjoyed these! It’s normal for cookies to lose their crisp over time. You can try baking them for just a minute or two longer next time to help increase the crisp and from there, just packaging tightly is the best way to help retain freshness. You can also stick a slice of bread in the container which will help, too!

  29. These are delicious! So easy to make. A holiday keeper. The mixer really did all the work.

  30. I just made a batch if these today and I can already tell I’ll have to make another before Christmas!! OMG they are incredible!!

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